Erdoğan urges all citizens of Turkey to unite against ‘foreign threats’
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on May 21 called on all citizens of Turkey to unite under a common goal against what he called were foreign economic and security threats regardless of differences in opinions on domestic politics.
“Turkey is passing through a very critical period, from security to economy. Thus, we need unity, cooperation and fraternity more than ever,” Erdoğan said in a speech at an iftar dinner with lawmakers at the Turkish Parliament in Ankara.
“As those governing the country, we need to show the resistance and courage our nation has put forward against the coup plotters on July 15  with our choices,” he said.
Erdoğan was referring to the defeated coup attempt of July 15, 2016 that is widely believed to have been orchestrated by FETÖ, which left 251 people killed and nearly 2,200 injured.
In order to attempt this, all 82 million citizens should unite under this common goal for Turkey, he stressed.
“We are all on the same boat,” he said.
“The political rivalry we are carrying out as part of this democracy is not an obstacle to this unity. On the contrary, it should be an abundance to be celebrated,” he said.
“Elections will be held, laws will be discussed, decisions will be made, discourses will be expressed, everything will pass, but Turkey will always remain,” he added.
The president also said that Turkey celebrates “an expression of freedom and future” and that all citizens should protect it no matter what.
“We have been plugging away to serve the great cause of Turkey. Every moment of our 40-year-long political life has passed with this approach. Especially in the last 17 years, we have been leading a struggle,” he said, adding that imperfections and mistakes are inevitable and have naturally happened.
“But one cannot deny the benefits we have brought to Turkey. We upgraded Turkey in the senses of democracy and economy. Now we have a chance to become one of the top 10 countries in the world,” he added.
“Let us build the great and strong Turkey together. For this, we should walk on this road, hand-in-hand, by saying one nation, one flag, one motherland and one state,” he said.
“We are ready for this and I believe that our parliament, along with its deputies and political parties, is ready for this as well,” he added.
'Some push boundaries'
Erdoğan also has reacted against criticisms towards the Supreme Election Board (YSK) over its decision to renew the Istanbul mayoral elections.
“No judicial institution or its member can decide in line with the interest of a party or politician. This includes me,” he said at a judges and prosecutors appointment ceremony on May 22.
“After the YSK’s decision to renew the Istanbul elections, we see that some politicians have been pushing the boundaries,” he said.
“The state flourishes on justice, develops, strengthens and grows. A state without justice is doomed to collapse like a baseless building,” he stated.
When a judge and a prosecutor perform a poor job, he can make an irredeemable injury to the conscience of society, Erdoğan said.
Turkey faced calamity when it “lost sensitivity on its justice,” the president said, referring to FETÖ, which Ankara believes had infiltrated the judiciary, police forces and military ahead of the July 2016 coup attempt.
“We have led great struggles to turn the judicial institutions into structures that decide on behalf of the nation and work for the state,” he said.
Erdoğan will unveil the Judicial Reform Strategy document on May 30, Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül said.
Speaking at the same event, he said the document will be “Turkey’s roadmap” for 82 million citizens that will increase confidence in the country’s judiciary.